Chapter III-8:  Family and Lineage

        Today we are going to start the talk about the family.  I have already told you how the talk about the family enters into the work of drumming.  In Dagbon here, the family has got many talks.  A family is one thing, but its talks are many.  If you don’t know, you will be saying “family, family, family,” and you will not know the inside of your talk.  And so we will start and follow it, and I will show you how a family extends and how it separates.  As a family is there, it has different parts, and it has different sides.  A human being is in four parts.  There is the father’s father’s house and the father’s mother’s house, and there is the mother’s father’s house and the mother’s mother’s house.  But if you like, you can say that it is two parts:  the father’s house and the mother’s house.  And so I am going to start and show you how we call each other inside our families.  I have said that in a family, you have your father’s side and your mother’s side, and so I will start it with the father and mother.

        As your father, your ba, is there, if you see your father’s brother, if he is older than your father, he is your senior father, bakpɛma; if he is younger than your father, he is your junior father, bapira.  Any of your father’s brothers who is older than your father is your senior father, and any who is younger is your junior father.  Sometimes your father will have a lot of brothers, and you will call all of them senior father or junior father.  As your mother, your ma, is there, if you see your mother’s sister who is older than your mother, she is your senior mother, makpɛma; if you see your mother’s sister who is younger than your mother, even if she is younger than you, that is your junior mother, mapira.

        And I want you to know that as we have these many fathers and many mothers, it is the child who will know how he will call them.  We don’t show a child that this is his senior father or junior father.  Let’s say we have been given birth by the same father and same mother, and we are staying together in a house with our wives, and we have given birth to children.  If you are older than I, my children can say you are their senior father and I am their junior father, but they will just call you “father” and call me “junior father.”  If they do that, it is correct, even though I am their real father.  This morning my child came to me:  he is my child and he is staying with his senior father at Savelugu.  He doesn’t call his senior father his “senior father”; he just calls him “father.”  And Alhassan who is with me, his father is my senior brother at Savelugu:  he will just call me “father” and then he can go to Savelugu and call my brother “father.”  And it is good like that.  If he is talking to my brother at Savelugu, he will call him “father” and call me his “junior father”; and if he is talking to me here, he will call me “father” and call my brother his “senior father.”  That is how it is in our families.  Even if I have a brother and he has a different mother, if my child calls that brother his father, it doesn’t matter.  He can call somebody like that, and it’s correct.

        As for your father’s sister, even if you are older than your father’s sister, you call her your aunt, pirba.  If you see your mother’s brother, he is your uncle, ŋahiba.  And so your father’s brothers are your fathers, but your father’s sisters are your aunts.  And your mother’s sisters are also your mothers, but your mother’s brothers are your uncles.  That is how we take it here.  And so you yourself, your sister’s children are your nephews and nieces, your ŋahinsi (singular:  ŋahiŋga).  If it is a woman, her brother’s children are her nephews and nieces.  And following it, if you are a man, your brother’s children are your children; and if your are a woman, your sister’s children are also your children.  Do you see how it moves?

        Your father’s father and your mother’s father are your grandfathers, and you call your father’s father your yabdoo, and you call your mother’s father yaba.  Even your father’s father’s brothers, you call them your yabdoo; you know that they are your grandfather’s brothers, but you will call them grandfather, yabdoo.  Your father’s mother is your yabpaɣa, your grandmother; and your mother’s mother is also your grandmother, and you call her mpaɣa, or if you like you call her mayili yabpaɣa, your mother’s house grandmother.  If you follow it to your grandfather’s fathers, as for them, we just say yabdoo kurli, old grandfather.  All of your great-grandfathers, you can call them like that, or if you like, you will just call them your grandfathers.

        As you are there, you may have brothers and sisters.  Your brother who was given birth before you is your senior brother, biɛlikpɛma, and your brother who is younger than you is your junior brother, tuzɔ.  Your sister is your tuzɔpaɣa.  And all the children of your senior fathers and junior fathers and senior mothers and junior mothers, they are all your brothers and sisters, too.  As for the children of your aunts and uncles, you can call any of them your cousin, piriŋga; or if you like, you can also call them your brothers and sisters and it is not a fault.

        And then coming down to your children’s children, they are your grandchildren, your yaansi.  And so your grandchild is your yaaŋa, and that is what we call your “back,” because your grandchild is following you.  If you are lucky to see your grandchild’s children, they are your great-grandchildren, yaantibchahi (sing.:  yaantibchee).  In the olden days in Dagbon, it was only one-one old man who would see that kind of child.  You give birth to a child, and that child is there and starts giving birth, and then that child also gives birth to children:  they are the ones we call yaantibchahi.  The time our eyes were opening, if an old person came to see such a child, when he died, people would say, “As for this man, he has thanked God.  As for him, he was even having yaantibchahi.”  If you went to his house, maybe you would see him lying down, and he can’t get up.  And you will  see lying on him and pulling his beard and stepping on him, doing everything to him.  And the way they are playing roughly with him, that is what we call dachɛhili in Dagbani:  they are playmates.  Whether he likes noise or he doesn’t like noise, they will come to him and play with him and be breaking his ears.

        And so that is what we call family — dɔɣim.  As we want the family to be wide, that is why we call all these people our fathers and mothers.  It isn’t that we don’t know who our fathers and mothers are.  We know.  It’s just that we have seen that it is good.  If you take an older person to be your father, it will help you and help him too.  If you take your father’s brother to be your father, it shows that you are near to one another, and your family is really a family.  Or if you have the same grandfather with somebody, you can take him to be your brother.  You can see that it is good.  Even on the part of our marrying women, if your wife’s mother is older than you, you will call her “my mother.”  And if you are older than or the same age as your wife’s mother, you will call her “my sister,” or sometimes you can call her “my aunt,” like your father’s sister.  As it is, have you not shown that you are family?  That is how we Dagbamba live with each other.

        As we are doing that, it doesn’t show that we will eat each other’s inheritance.  As for inheritance, we do not take the father’s side and mix it with the mother’s side.  If we are brothers, with one father and different mothers, and somebody on your mother’s side dies and they are going to share his things, I have no part to play there, but you are inside because that is your mother’s side.  On my mother’s side, if they are sharing something, I will get but you will not get.  We are brothers, and we have the same father, and our father’s family is for both of us, but on the part of inheritance on the mothers’ sides, we won’t mix.

        And so inside a family, as the mother’s side and the father’s side are there, we know that the father’s house and the mother’s house are different.  We know it, but on the part of our living together, we don’t say it.  Let’s say we are given birth together inside a family.  If my father married four women and gave birth to children, we will all stay together, and truly, we the children are one family.  On our father’s side, we are the same family, and on our mother’s sides, we are different families because we have different mothers.  But in our way of living, how I will call my mother’s family is the same way I will also call your mother’s family.  If you and I have one father and different mothers, how you will call someone from your mother’s side your uncle, I will also call him my uncle.  You call somebody your uncle because they have given birth to him and your mother.  If we have one father and different mothers, and you call somebody from your mother’s side your uncle, if I refuse to call that fellow my uncle, it means I don’t regard your family and it shows that you are not my father’s son.  And so in our Dagbon families we say that any mother’s son’s uncle, we all have to call that person our uncle, even if we have different mothers.  And if you call somebody on your mother’s side your grandfather, I will also call him my grandfather.  If I call him grandfather, it doesn’t mean that he is my real grandfather, but since you are my father’s child and you call him grandfather, I must also call him grandfather.  And you will also call my grandfather on my mother’s side your grandfather.

        And even coming to your in-laws, that is, the family of your wife, they will call you their husband.  Because their sister is marrying you, they also call you their husband.  If a man doesn’t want to call you his husband, no matter how big he is, he will call you his brother.  Your wife’s sisters’ children and brothers’ children will call you their father.  The way their mother is inside your house, whether she is giving birth or she doesn’t give birth, they are going to call you their father because of the woman you have brought into the house.  And your other children, too, they will call them their mother’s children:  mabihi.  They and your children become one, and they will call one another brothers and sisters.  The way their mother is inside your house, whether she is giving birth or she doesn’t give birth, they are going to call you their father because of the woman you have brought into the house.

        And truly, on the part of family, you should know that we are all one, because it was one man who gave birth to all of us.  Adam.  He and Hawa started the family, and so we all come from the same grandfather.  As for the beginning, it was like a tree standing.  A family is like a tree with branches.  And what we learned in the Muslim religion:  Adam and Hawa were standing like that, and they were bringing forth, and the children were bringing forth, and the separation started.  That time is far.  And so we take it that the separation and differences of human beings come from the will of God, and if not the knowledge of God, nobody can talk it.  It was the wish of  God, and if he didn’t do that, we would have been one.  And what has separated it is the giving and taking of women.  If a man and a woman bring forth thirty children, they are all one family.  But if these children are going to marry, what will happen?  They will find their wives and husbands, and some of those they marry will be far from the family.  That is all.  And so now we have become separate.  As we are here in this Dagbon, the different tribes are here, and do we say we are related to all of them?  We know that we have one grandfather, but it has separated.  Even the white people, if you follow them, they have different sides.  It is not anything that brings this apart from the marrying of women.  If it were that somebody will get up and just marry inside his family, there would not be different families in the world.  And so the talk about the family is two talks, because a family can extend and become wide, and a family can separate and become different.  How the family can extend or separate, I want you to know that the words in our Dagbani can also enter one another.  And so we will follow the talk and go.

        In Dagbon here we have what we call dɔɣim, that is, your relatives, or your family that is standing just now:  your father and his brothers and sisters and parents, your mother and her brothers and sisters and parents, and your own brothers and sisters and children, and all those who are with you.  That is your family.  And we follow it again and we have what we call dunoli, that is, your line:  it is something that you have asked to know about, and that is your grandfathers and great-grandfathers, and all your forefathers.  Those who are there with you, they are your family; those who are not there, and they died long, long ago, they are your line.  And so the family is near, and the line is far.  If a typical Dagbana comes to see you, he will ask what line you are from, and it is this far-away talk he is asking, and it is something you have only heard about.  As for your family, you know it, but as for your line, you will know it to your extent.  Someone will know only one or two people of his line, and someone will know four, and someone will know more than that.  It isn’t that he knows them, but he has been hearing their names.

        In our Dagbani, dunoli is a door or a gate, and that is your line.  Apart from that, there is what we call zuliya, the descendents of a descent group [sometimes translated as tribe].  It shows that you have the same grandfather with somebody.  That is why we say that we and the Mamprusis are one zuliya.  Dagbamba and Mamprusis cannot say they do not know one another.  The Mamprusis, their grandfather ate Yendi, but now their tongue has changed.  And as we are sitting in Dagbon, if you go to the Ashanti land and sit there and give birth to children, in that case we will say daŋ.  It also shows that you have the same grandfather with somebody, but there has come to be some separation.  And so daŋ is also like a tribe or a clan.  If there is a funeral, we will say we should gather the daŋ.  And so daŋ and dɔɣim are also one, but the daŋ is extended.  A Dagbana is your daŋ.  But as the Mamprusis and Nanumbas are our zuliya, when they perform their funerals, they don’t look for us.  And we too won’t perform a funeral and search for them.  That is what we call zuliya.  And so daŋ, dɔɣim, and dunoli are separate from zuliya.  But daŋ and dɔɣim don’t separate much.  The way they enter into one another, they have a point where they separate again.  But when a Dagbana man says daŋ, that is also dɔɣim.

        I will give you an example.  As we drummers have the same grandfather, we can also say daŋ.  But the dunoli is your door or your family line.  If the head of your family is eating chieftaincy, you are all entitled to it.  Whether you eat chieftaincy or you don’t eat chieftaincy, that is your dunoli.  Maybe your grandfather came from that door and gave birth to your father, and so everybody has his family dunoli.  Even if you are traveling, you know where your dunoli is.  You see Nanton Lun-Naa, as we are all sitting down, we are not sitting at one place, but he is the one who gives our daughters to men.  It is not because he is eating chieftaincy.  He is the dɔɣri kpɛma, that is the family head.  If you are a family, there should be somebody in front of all of you.  That is your family head.  If somebody comes to search for my daughter, I have to direct him to the dunoli.  As Nanton Lun-Naa is our dɔɣri kpɛma, inside his hall — his zoŋ — where Nanton Lun-Naa sits down, that is our dunoli.  I have told you that human beings are not at one place.  The way God created us, if you go far, you will come to see it.  Dɔɣim is not at one place, but you will know where the dunoli is.  Even Dagbamba children who have left Dagbon for the south, and they have been staying in the south for years, they know their dɔɣri kpɛma.  It is not just a room door they are calling dunoli.  It is a human being who is sitting down.  He is the family head, and he is the dunoli.  And so it doesn’t matter that we are in different towns in Dagbon, and Nanton Lun-Naa is at Nanton.  We all have our houses — Mumuni’s house, Ibrahim’s house — and they use our names to call our houses.  But we don’t separate our family.  We are all joined.  Whatever happens, we have to take it to Nanton Lun-Naa.  Any talk you are going to talk, you will talk it inside his hall.  And so he is the family head.  He is our senior now, he and Palo-Naa.  And so that is our door or our line.

        How a family is, I myself sitting don’t know my grandfather, but I can say that he has just died, because my senior brother at Savelugu knew my grandfather, and my father used to talk of him and I was hearing.  I never saw him, but as it is, it shows that I know him because those who knew him are still living.  And so my grandfather is near and the talk has not gone far.  My mother’s mother is the same thing:  my brother knew her.  I myself knew my father and my father’s brothers, and they also have not gone far.  But if you want to know your line, you will know just some of them.  You can ask some people, and they will say, “I only know my grandfather.  I don’t know the one who gave birth to my grandfather.  I don’t know his name.”  You can ask many people like that, and they will not know the names of their line.  And there are some people who will know it.  They know because their fathers and grandfathers tell them about it.  And again, someone’s mothers and grandmothers tell him about it, and I can even say that the women know the family more than the men.  If a woman gives birth to a hundred children, she will know the day on which each of them was born.  But a man will have to write before he know them, and if he doesn’t write, he will only know the days of a few of them.  And so apart from a drummer, a woman knows the family more than anyone.  If you want to know your line, you have to sit with such people before you will know.  This is how it is.

        And I want to tell you and you will know:  what has spoiled Dagbon is that we don’t know the family again, and what has brought it is the school.  Some say that the school has come and opened the eyes of Dagbon, and others say that it is school that has come and killed Dagbon.  Why do I say that?  As Dagbon was sitting in the olden days, if the Dagbamba didn’t know anything, they knew their grandfathers and they could count even up to ten of their grandfathers.  Someone could count like that, and it wasn’t that he wrote it down.  Now that this school has come, you will ask a child and he will only know his father’s name and mother’s name.  He doesn’t know the names of the people who gave birth to his father and mother.  And a child who doesn’t go to school will also be standing like that.  I have seen a child who doesn’t know his father’s name.  His father had a chieftaincy, and they asked the child, “Who is your father?” and the child said, “Kukuo-Naa.”  And they asked, “Kukuo-Naa who?”  And the child said he only knew his father’s name to be Kukuo-Naa:  “I got up and my father was the Kukuo-Naa.”  He didn’t ask even his father’s name.  Will such a thing be inside a family, and the family will be a family?  This is what is killing our way of living.

        In the olden days, Dagbamba didn’t have educated people, but they were thinking and asking.  They were there like that, and we still have some people like that.  But because people have not been asking, that has spoiled it.  They don’t ask.  And again, they don’t sit with old people.  You can be sitting with an old person and you won’t ask anything, but he will be talking and you will catch his talk.  But if you don’t sit near such a person, how will you know?  Is it that someone will come to you to talk so that you will hear?  Maybe you are not from the same family with that fellow:  why will he talk for you to hear?  And so not asking has spoiled the way of living of us Dagbamba.  There are some people whose beards are lying on the ground and they don’t know their families.  They only know their fathers and mothers.  Do you think that such a thing will make someone’s way of living good?

        In the olden days, a child would get up and meet his grandfather and always go to sit near him.  If the grandfather is going anywhere, the child is going with him.  This grandfather will show the child about the family more than anyone, and we even say that a grandchild knows the family more than his father.  A son fears his father in Dagbon here, and he will not sit with him.  If you hear that a child knows his family, it is that he has sat with his grandfather or with one of his father’s brothers whom he doesn’t fear.  If a child wants to know his mother’s house, he will sit with his uncle.  And it is someone’s grandmother who will also tell him about the family.  That is why I say that it is even the women who know more in the family talk than we men know:  when they gather, they are talking family talks.  Any young girl or young boy who sits with them will be hearing and catching.

        And so we are two people who show the family in Dagbon:  the drummers and the women.  If we were not there, in time the family would be dead, and no one would know “This is my line.”  If women were not in a family, the family would die.  A woman can bring forth any number of children, she will know the days on which she gave birth.  She will even know the days when her friend gave birth.  When there is a funeral, sometimes a man will not go, but the women will be there.  In Dagbon, it is the women who go to funerals more than the men.  At the funeral house, it is the women who cook the food, and it is they who ask to know more about the family.  And it is at a funeral house that we Dagbamba know the family.  You will meet someone at a funeral and not know you are of the same family.  You will ask, and they will say, “You are all from the same grandfather.”  And so the women are the ones who are always talking about the family.  At the funeral houses, the old women are there, and the other women ask them.  When someone dies in Dagbon here, if you go to the house and you see the one who is dead, and you look at his room, you will see very old women there.  When I talked about funerals, I told you that if they haven’t yet buried the dead body, there will be old women sleeping in the room.  There is a calabash called ku ŋmani, the funeral calabash, and the room where this calabash is, they call it ku ŋmaŋ duu, the funeral calabash room.  And after they bury the dead body, they take a cloth the dead person was using to sleep with, and they put it inside the calabash.  The day when they are showing the riches, these women will carry the calabash, that it is standing for the dead body.  It is old women like that who teach the younger women about the family.  This is how it is.  That is why I say that if drummers and women were not in Dagbon here, the family would have been dead.  That is how the family talk moves.

        And apart from the women, it is we drummers who know the family and the line in Dagbon.  We drummers have many works in Dagbon here, and how we beat drums and follow the chiefs, it comes to enter the talk of the family because we show people how their family and line came about.  And so to follow it, I want to show you how the family and the line are in Dagbon here, and I will give you an example by showing how my family came about.  And so I will be talking on the part of the line and coming down to the family.  And I will talk first on my mother’s house side and join it to my father’s house side.

        My mother’s grandfather’s house started during the time of Naa Siɣli.  Naa Siɣli gave birth to Zoggolana Dasana.  Zoggolana Dasana gave birth to Zugulana Ali.  Zugulana Ali gave birth to Singlana Aduna and Dalunlana Blemah.  Singlana Aduna gave birth to my mother’s father Sulemana.  Sulemana gave birth to my mother Kaasuwa, and she gave birth to me.  This is the line of my mother.

        On my father’s side, if you follow my father’s line and my mother’s line, you will see that they are all the same.  And what has separated it is what I have told you:  the marrying of women has made the family change.  My father’s grandfather is Naa Garba.  Naa Garba gave birth to Zakpalisilana Baakali.  Zakpalisilana Baakali gave birth to Boggolana Mahama.  Boggolana Mahama gave birth to Laati.  Laati gave birth to my father’s father Simaani.  Simaani gave birth to my father Abdulai, and he gave birth to me.

        Have you seen how it has come?  My father and my mother, if you follow them, you will see that they came from the same grandfather:  Naa Luro.  Naa Luro is their great-grandfather.  It was Naa Luro who gave birth to Naa Zaɣli and Naa Zaɣli gave birth to Naa Siɣli, and that is my mother’s line.  And it was Naa Luro again who gave birth to Naa Tutuɣri, and Naa Tutuɣri gave birth to Naa Zanjina, and Naa Zanjina gave birth to Naa Garba, and that is my father’s line.  And so it is the same line.  This is how the family goes.

        When we talked the talks of drumming, I told you that any time you see a drummer in Dagbon here, if he’s really a drummer, he knows the talk of people’s families.  As Kissmal is sitting here with us, if you follow him, you will also see that Kissmal and I are one family on the part of his mother’s house.  I know his grandfather to be Nanton-Naa Musa.  Nanton-Naa Musa was Naa Garba’s senior brother, and it was Naa Zanjina who gave birth to both of them.  And so as Kissmal is sitting down, Nanton-Naa Musa is his grandfather on the side of his mother’s house.  And from Nanton-Naa Musa, his line moves to Sagnerigu and comes.

        Have you seen?  And what I told you again is that a family or a line is just like a tree standing outside with many branches.  How a tree lives and dies, this is the same way a line moves.  Some part of the tree will become dry and dead, and some part of it will be wet and growing.  You will see that some part of the tree has many branches, and another part of the tree will not have many branches.  This is how a family is.

        Let me show you how some part of the tree will come to die.  I will talk it on the part of the Yaa-Naa, but I will follow it on the part of the lines of the Yaa-Naas and not on the part of which chief ate Yendi after which chief.  I just want to show you how the line or the door moves and separates.  Let’s start from Naa Garba.  Naa Zanjina gave birth to Naa Garba, and Naa Garba gave birth to Naa Ziblim Bandamda and Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga, Ziblim and his junior brother Andani.  Naa Ziblim gave birth to his first-born son Savelugu-Naa Lamandani, and this Lamandani didn’t get Yendi; he remained at Savelugu.  And Savelugu-Naa Lamandani’s children didn’t eat Savelugu, and their door to the chieftaincy closed, and they became commoners.  And Naa Ziblim gave birth to Naa Mahami, and Naa Mahami gave birth to Naa Simaani Zoli.  Everybody has got children, and this Naa Simaani gave birth to children but none of them ate Yendi.  They all died, and some of them became chiefs in other towns, and some of them became commoners because they didn’t get any chieftaincy to eat.  You see how the line is coming:  the line of Naa Ziblim Bandamda is dead on the part of Yendi; as we are sitting down, they have all become commoners.  Naa Ziblim’s son ate Yendi, and his grandson ate Yendi, but it stopped there.  Naa Mahami was the only one of Naa Ziblim’s sons to eat Yendi, and Naa Simaani was the only one of Naa Mahami’s sons to eat Yendi, and none of Naa Simaani’s children ate Yendi.  And so after Naa Simaani, the line died on the part of Yendi.  They have become commoners, and we count them inside the commoners of Dagbon.  Have you seen how it goes?

        I told you that Naa Ziblim Bandamda and Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga were brothers, and it was Naa Garba who gave birth to both of them.  They had the same father, but they had different mothers.  Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga came and ate Yendi.  When Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga brought forth, he gave birth to his first-born son, Mionlana Asimaani.  Mionlana Asimaani didn’t get Yendi to eat, and so this Mionlana Asimaani’s line, all of them are dead on the part of Yendi.  The line of Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga’s first-born have become commoners.  You should listen well.  Naa Andani Jɛŋgbarga also gave birth to Naa Ziblim Kulunku.  Naa Kulunku ate Yendi and gave birth to a son called Mahami who ate Karaga.  Karaga-Naa Mahami didn’t get Yendi to eat:  he ate Karaga and remained at Karaga.  And so Naa Kulunku’s line is at Karaga and not at Yendi again.  And some of them have become commoners.  Have you seen?  This is one line I am counting.  And Naa Andani also gave birth to Naa Yakuba, and Naa Yakuba ate Yendi.  When Naa Yakuba brought forth, he gave birth to Naa Abdulai and Naa Andani.  Naa Kulunku was Naa Yakuba’s brother, and two of Naa Yakuba’s sons ate Yendi but none of Naa Kulunku’s children ate it.

        Naa Abdulai ate Yendi first before Naa Andani came and ate, and when Naa Andani died, it was Naa Abdulai’s son who came and ate Yendi.  That was Naa Alaasani.  Naa Abdulai’s first-born was Savelugu-Naa Mahami, but he didn’t eat Yendi.  Naa Abdulai gave birth to Savelugu-Naa Mahami before he gave birth to Naa Alaasani, but it was Naa Alaasani who got Yendi.  Naa Alaasani gave birth to Naa Abudu, and Naa Abudu also ate Yendi.  Naa Andani’s first-born was Tugulana Iddi, but he didn’t eat Yendi before he died.  It was war that came and killed Tugulana Iddi.  And it looked as if Naa Andani’s line was going to die there.  But when Naa Abudu died, one of Naa Andani’s sons came and ate.  He was called Mahamadu, and that was Naa Mahama Kpɛma.  He was the only son of Naa Andani to eat Yendi.  After he died, it was another of Naa Abudu’s son’s who ate:  that was Naa Mahama Bila.  And when Naa Mahama Bila died, his son Abdulai came and ate, and that was Naa Abilabila.

        It was when Naa Abilabila died that this confusion on the part of chieftaincy became a big talk in Dagbon.  It started from Naa Abdulai and Naa Andani, because there was bad talk between them, and I have already told you something about it.  I can say that most of the drummers show that Naa Andani’s line died with Naa Mahama Kpɛma, but those who are on the Andani house side show that when Naa Abilabila died, it was Naa Mahama Kpɛma’s son Mionlana Andani who ate Yendi.  But we don’t show that he ate Yendi; those who were supposed to make him a chief didn’t make him a chief, and so he was not made a chief in the correct way.  And he didn’t last long before he died.  And so we don’t count Mionlana Andani among the chiefs of Yendi.  We show that Naa Abilabila’s son Naa Mahamadu ate Yendi, and it was this Naa Mahamadu that the soldiers removed to put Mionlana Andani’s son Yakubu at Yendi.

        As it is, on the part of the talk we are talking, it shows that Naa Abdulai’s line is stronger than Naa Andani’s line, because inside Naa Abdulai’s line you can count Naa Alaasani, Naa Abudu, Naa Mahama Bila, Naa Abilabila, and Naa Mahamadu.  But Naa Andani’s line only goes to Naa Mahama Kpɛma, and those who want, they will count Naa Mahama’s son Mionlana Andani and Mionlana Andani’s son Yakubu.  And we drummers, according to how our custom is and how we know it, we only count Naa Mahama Kpɛma as the only son of Naa Andani to eat Yendi.  Naa Abdulai and Naa Andani had the same father, but in Naa Abdulai’s line we count five Yaa-Naas and add another to make six if we count Naa Mahamadu, the one they removed; and in Naa Andani’s line there is only he and Naa Mahama Kpɛma.  And so the children of Naa Abdulai who ate Yendi are more.  And Naa Andani’s line is thin, and we even show that it isn’t there again.  And all this is inside the way the line and the family move.  If there is not strength inside a family, you will see that it will separate.  And it is wonderful, because Naa Andani gave birth to a lot of children and Naa Abdulai’s children were not many.  And if I am going to count the children of Naa Andani who became chiefs, I can count about twenty or thirty of them.  Naa Abdulai’s children who ate chieftaincy are not that many, but they have collected the door to the Yendi chieftaincy, and they are holding it.

        And what I am showing you is this, and I have been telling you every day:  if you are eating a chieftaincy in Dagbon here, it doesn’t show that your child is going to eat your chieftaincy.  Some of the Yaa-Naas gave birth to children, and none of the children ate Yendi.  Their door to the Yendi chieftaincy has died, and we also give a proverb that their fire has died.  The meaning is that they lit fire and gave to them to go and look for a way.  And so if their fire dies, they get lost.  What their father was eating, that is the fire.  If the fire goes out, it shows that they won’t eat what their father was eating, leaving aside those they also gave birth to.  As the chieftaincy line has separated at that point, we don’t count these children inside the Yendi chieftaincy.  It isn’t that their grandfathers were not chiefs of Yendi.  They were chiefs.  But the line of these children has separated, and their part of the line has become commoners or has moved to another town.  Whatever happens, we don’t deny that their grandfathers were chiefs.  We follow the chieftaincy to know someone’s line, but it’s just that the line has separated, and they have become commoners.  And I have said and I want you to know that in Dagbon here, anyone who is a Dagbana is from the chief’s line.  His grandfathers were holding the fire and coming, and the fire died, and they have become commoners.  And so in Dagbon here, every Dagbana is a chief’s grandson, and every Dagbana is a commoner.  Every day I have been telling you this, and you should know it.  Inside every commoner is the strength of chieftaincy, and the strength of chieftaincy is the commoner.  We are all from the bone of chieftaincy.

        How we take it like that, in Dagbon here, if you want to call the chief, you will call him “my grandfather.”  As you are a chief’s grandchild, it means your father did not become a chief, and you are not a chief’s child, and you call the chief your grandfather because he gave birth to your father.  It shows that the chieftaincy your grandfather was having, your grandfather gave birth to your father and your father didn’t eat that chieftaincy, and your father gave birth to you.  That is why if you want to call a chief, you call him your grandfather.  And if the chief is going to call you, he will call you his grandchild.  And it is inside our way of living.

        Let me show you an example.  In Dagbon here, if a child is missing, whether a boy or a girl, we will say that the chief’s grandchild is missing, and anyone who finds the child should take him to the chief’s house.  Let’s say your son is missing.  Maybe there is a gathering, and everybody and his sons and grandsons have come to look, and one of them gets missing.  What will you do?  You will go to meet the Wulana, and you will tell the Wulana, “My father Wulana, as I came with my children, one of them has gone out and I have not seen him.  This is why I have come to see you so that we will go to the chief and he will let a drummer announce it.”  You can get about twenty or forty pesewas and give it to the Wulana, and you will get about a cedi and give it to the chief and tell him that he should buy cola to put inside the kettle.  The chief will let you go, and he will call the Lun-Naa or the Sampahi-Naa.  The chief will tell the Wulana to tell the drum chief to let a drummer go out and announce that such-and-such a child is missing, and anyone who sees the child should bring him to the chief’s house.  But the drummer cannot say that.  The drummer will only say that the chief’s grandchild is missing.  He will take a drum and come out and start going around the town.  Sometimes someone has picked the child up and will be searching for the child’s people.  Sometimes too the child has not got sense and cannot talk.  Sometimes the child has sense, but his eyes have turned and he doesn’t know where his house is again.  When they don’t see the child’s people, they will take him to the chief’s house.  In some time, the one holding the child will go to the Wulana’s house to see whether they have found the child or not.  If he is lucky, he will go and meet the child sitting at the Wulana’s house.  In Dagbon, this is how we live on the part of each other.

        And I think we will stop here, and tomorrow, if God agrees, we will continue with the talk about the family.